After several months of negotiations, Boca Isles South and our internet and TV service provider Hotwire have completed negotiations pending attorney’s review to upgrade the current Minerva system to Mediaroom. Mediaroom is a state of the art system offering multiple advantages over our current platform. Mediaroom is a software system used by 60 global operators in 23 countries, including companies like ATT U-verse and Deutsche Telekom AG. Mediaroom was developed by Microsoft and will provide BIS with the latest in IPTV technology.
The following is an overview of the upgrade benefits and the impact to the residents and community. Additional details will be provided in future communications.
Enhancements over Current System
• Increases ability to record from current two channels at one time to four channels and watch a fifth from any STB/DVR device (WHDVR)
• Allows any of the recorded programs to be played from any STB/DVR device (WHDVR)
• Replay of TV programming that aired up to 7 hours ago (available on selected channels)
• More interactive search capabilities with ability to search by title, name of actor with an onscreen search keyboard
• Ability to customize the guide to remove unwatched channels or organize channels
• Instant response for channel changes
• Additional video–on-demand programs
• Ability to search for any TV show or movie
• Increases TV guide to include up to 11 days of future content
• Enhanced parental controls
• Pause live TV for up to 90 minutes
• Other benefits to be discussed at future meetings
Note: The current channel lineup will be maintained.
• Internet download speed will be increased from our current 20Mbps to 50Mbps and will significantly enhance both internet and video streaming capabilities.
Impact to Residents
Hardware changes at residential homes
As would be expected, this upgrade will require hardware changes, including entry to the garage area for ONT replacement and inside the house to exchange set top boxes (STB) and remotes. This upgrade will eliminate the requirement for HPNA devises. Based on previous conversions conducted, each home upgrade is estimated to take one to one and a half hours, with longer times needed for unusual circumstances. This will involve communication with each of the residents and appointments established to change the wiring and relevant equipment. The Board has negotiated the installation of one cat5 wiring drop for internet service and one drop to support each set top box or DVR ordered, at no cost to the homeowner. At Hotwire’s discretion a wireless receiver may be used if they feel direct wiring cannot be completed easily.
Cost Impact to Residents
Today each resident receives two set top boxes (STB) for free in our bulk plan. Under the new plan we will get one free STB and the second STB will be the responsibility of the homeowner. Hotwire normally charges $10.99 per STB per month; however the Board negotiated a lower price to include the second STB to be $4.99 per month. Any additional STB would be at Hotwire’s normal and customary price that we are currently subject to.
Impact to Association
In consideration of the enhanced benefits the board has extended the contract with Hotwire for an additional three years. In addition to the enhanced capabilities the extension has resulted in economic savings for the community on a year to year basis in the contract.
While a starting date has not been established, the upgrade from Minerva to Mediaroom will take up to two months and the current timetable is for completion by May 2014.
The Board of Directors will be working with Hotwire to develop an implementation plan that will include community meetings to demonstrate Mediaroom and explain the system and provide the opportunity for residents to ask questions. Such meetings and dates will be communicated to residents.
We believe that the TV and Internet services provided to all residents of BIS are an important amenity that sets us apart from other communities, and we are pleased to be able to provide this enhancement to the community.
IPTV = Internet Protocol Television
STB = Set Top Box
DVR = Digital Video Recorder
WHDVR =Whole Home Digital Video Recording
HPNA= Home Phone Network Adapter
ONT= Optical Network Terminal